Who Is Camila Mendes?
Born in 1994, Camila Mendes is a Brazilian American actress who hit the ground running with her breakout role as comic book character Veronica Lodge on the steamy hit teen drama Riverdale, a subversive adaptation of the Archie comics.
Early Life and Family
Born on June 29, 1994, in Charlottesville, Virginia, Camila Carraro Mendes was the second child and daughter of Brazilian parents Victor, a business executive, and Gisele, a flight attendant.
When Mendes was eight, her parents divorced, and she and her older sister were raised by her mom. They lived a nomadic life, moving around throughout the southern United States and living in Brazil for one year.
Although they finally settled down in South Florida during Mendes' middle school years, the actress is wistful about her brief time living in Brazil, which gave her the opportunity to be with her extended family.
“I do really get sad because my entire extended family is in Brazil, and they’re all hanging out with each other every day and they have such a sense of family and community,” she told W magazine. “When I was living there that was nice. Brazilians value family so much.”
After high school, Mendes set her sights on NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she graduated in 2016.
Movies and TV Shows
Mendes had very little acting experience before she won the role of Riverdale's Veronica Lodge, the complicated new girl in town who quickly makes an impression with her quick wit and high sense of fashion — not to mention her competitive streak to win the affections of Archie, played by KJ Apa.
But landing the coveted role wasn't easy.
“I had the most harrowing audition process,” Mendes admitted to W magazine in 2018. “They were like, ‘You’re our top choice, but we want to open up a new search, and we want someone that can compete with you.’ I lost sleep, I was crying every night because it felt like I was so close to something that could be big, and like my life and career changing, but in the end it all worked out.”
Another aspect Mendes loves about her character is that she's Latina.
“I’m so happy…and it’s not just Veronica, it’s the whole Lodge family being all Latino… portraying Latinos as a strong, powerful, intelligent family. We do well, we’re go-getters.”
Mendes has also taken her talent to the big screen in movies such as The Stand In (2018), Coyote Lake (2018) and Palm Springs (2020).
Having dealt with an eating disorder, Mendes uses her large social media following to advocate on body positivity. “I’ve been kinder to myself because of all positive feedback," she told Nylon in 2018. "I think all the encouragement from fans, and how much I see that they’re going through the same thing, and how much I feel like I actually have an opportunity here to inspire people and prevent people from going down that path, has shown me I actually could make that difference in someone’s life."
Mendes dated her Riverdale costar Charles Melton from 2018-2019.
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